Eritrean citizens are the biggest asylum seekers applying to enter Switzerland in the month of September 2017, Swiss government data have revealed.
The Eritreans according to Swiss records are followed by citizens of Syria, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Somalia. The overall request for asylum for the month under review, however, dropped by a third bringing the total for the first nine months to just under 14,000, the lowest since 2010.
Most migration reports on Africa has identified Eritrea as a major contributor to migrant flows. They are joined by Nigerians, Somalis and to some extent Sudanese.
According to political and rights watchers for the Horn of Africa region, the cause of Eritrean migrant flows are harsh economic conditions back home and also ‘forced national service’ plus a tense political atmosphere.
A drop since mid-July in the number of would-be refugees trying to reach Europe via the Mediterranean played a role, the Swiss Secretariat for Migration said on Thursday, adding that Switzerland was also not a primary destination for these people.
Switzerland is not a member of the European Union but takes in some asylum seekers who have reached frontline states Greece and Italy to help relieve their burden.
It has accepted around 1,300 such people since the programme began in September 2015.